At least 30 EU citizens from five countries have been affected since January, including the Germans.
Since Brexit, EU citizens are no longer allowed to work in the UK without a work visa. In reality, however, they are allowed to enter the country for interviews, as attorney Arania Kujulatas of the non-governmental organization Bail for Immigration Detainees explains:
“If you look at the UK government website, you can find immigration rules there, and it is very clear that you can attend interviews or business conferences. However, it seems that when EU citizens enter, that is exactly what doing these things will be detained. “At the borders, they will be denied entry and they will be required to apply for a work visa. There is a contradiction and ambiguity that leads to people being deprived of their freedom.”
A statement from the European Union Commission told Euronews that the arrests are not part of a general trend but a cause for concern and that the commission has already been in contact with the UK Home Office on the matter. The ministry has now ordered border guards to stop holding EU citizens without a work visa.
European Union diplomats have expressed concern that EU citizens are sometimes held in immigration centers for up to seven days before they can return to their countries of origin, and most of them appear to be young women looking for work or other temporary jobs. A painful and humiliating experience for many.